The District of Koraput derives its name from its headquarters, the present town of koraput. In ancient times, when the Nalas were ruling over this tract, pushkari, the modern Umerkote was the capital city. In the medieval period, Nandapur developed as the capital under the Silavamsi kings and sometimes under the kings of the Solar dynasty. Virvikram, Deo of the Solar dynasty shifted his headquarters to Jeypore about the middle of the 17 century and this town prospered as the capital. Koraput was chosen by the British in 1870 for better health prospects. The origin of the name of koraput is obscure. There are several theories, none of which is convincing. According to Mr.R.C.S.Belll, the first District Magistrate and Collector,koraput, the name of the town is “Kora–putti” or “the hamlet of the nuxvomica” and it is derived presumably from a tree or trees that must at one time have been prominent near the site. But to–day not a single tree of nux–vomica is found near about the town of koraput and so the assumption of Mr. Bell is open to question.

The whole of the district of koraput comprises the ex–zamindaries of Jeypore and kashipur. Vinayak Deo, the founder of the present Jeypore Raj family, inherited the kingdom of the Silvamsis by the middle of the 15th century A.D. The capital of the kingdom,however, lost its independences in 1571 when it became feudatory of the Qutub shahis of Golkonda and the Nandapur kings started paying annual tribute to the Sultans. During the time of Balaram Deo III ( 1711–1713) large number of Zamindars and feudatories seceded from the Jeypore kingdom with the help of the Marathas. Vikram Deo I, the then ruler, held back those territories in lieu of an annual rent of Rs 40,000/– of which no more than three–fourths was ever paid. It was during the rule of Vikram Deo II that the capital of kingdom was finally transferred to Jeypore, the Princely State under the Maharaja Vikram Dev of Jeypore. Maharaja of Jeypore played a crucial role along with Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati of paralakhemundi in the freedom struggle as well as in the process of unification of Odisha.On 1.4.1936, the erstwhile District of koraput came into being Mr.R.C.S.Bell was the first District Magistrate and Collector, Koraput. On 1.10.1992, the District of koraput was divided into four Districts–present koraput,Rayagada, Malkangiri and Nowarangpur.